Thursday, January 09, 2014
SLDN, HRC puzzled by Gates's comments about DADT repeal in his new book
Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense, has claimed in his new book “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary of War” from Knopf, that he was “blindsided” by President Obama during the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal process, the last chapter of the policy starting with a standalone repeal law passed in December 2010 by a “lame duck Congress” and then completed with a “certification”, leading to formal repeal (and a public event celebration on K Street in Washington by SLDN) on September 20, 2011.
I have not yet seen the book and expect to do so later, perhaps order it on Kindle.
Both the HRC and SLDN really do not know where Gates is coming from. He was on board with Obama throughout the process. During the week before the passage of the law, there had been some contentious hearings on the Senate with objections of Senator John McCain, which I watched live from home on C-span before going to the demonstration on the north Capitol lawn on December 10, 2010. While en route to the demonstration, I received a call that my own mother had suddenly taken a turn for the worse. Cell phone conversations continued while I was at the demonstration. I remember the entire day vividly. She would pass away on Dec. 14, and lived just long enough to see the repeal started, which she knew I had been passionate about.
Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade has a detailed story here.
One would be concerned if his remarks could have any effect on a new administration or Congress in the future. I guess I'll need to read his book soon; hadn't planned to.